Michigan to Open Legal Online Sports Betting on Friday

By in Gambling Laws on
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  • Nine operators will be allowed to take legal sports bets in Michigan starting on Friday
  • Mobile and online betting will be a huge boost in revenue for the struggling state
  • Detroit casinos took a major revenue hit in 2020 compared to 2019

The list of states with legalized and regulated sports betting industries is continuing to grow. On Friday, we will be able to add Michigan to that list. The Michigan Gaming Control Board announced Tuesday that it has officially authorized nine operators to launch their own online sports betting endeavors effective at noon on Friday, January 22.

The timing of the decision is no coincidence. Michigan is hoping to capitalize on the remainder of the NFL season, including Super Bowl 55. Michigan Gaming Control Board executive director Richard Kalm said,

“The Michigan Gaming Control Board and the state’s commercial and tribal casinos will begin a new era Jan. 22 with the launch of regulated online gaming and sports betting.”

Kalm added, “Michigan residents love sports and, judging by inquiries we’ve received, eagerly anticipate using mobile devices to place bets through the commercial and tribal casinos. Online gaming and sports betting will provide the casinos with new ways to engage with customers while the state and local communities will benefit from taxes and payments on wagering revenue.”

Nine Operators Ready to Roll

The nine operators given the green light to take sports bets starting Friday are listed below:

  1. MGM Grand Detroit
  2. MotorCity Casino
  3. Hannahville Indian Community
  4. Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians
  5. Keweenaw Bay Indian Community
  6. Greektown Casino
  7. Bay Mills Indian Community
  8. Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians
  9. Little River Band of Ottawa Indians

Michigan wants to take advantage of the surge of betting interest that will come with this weekend’s NFL conference championship games as well as the Super Bowl on February 7. Every operator listed above save for one plans to launch both online sports betting and casino gaming. Greektown Casino is the only one that only has plans for a sports betting operation.

Penn National Gaming, the owner of Greektown, has said it will launch a Barstool Sportsbook mobile app available to Apple, Android, and desktop users on Friday. Online casino games will soon follow once they get the proper approvals from the state’s regulatory body.

Penn National CEO Jay Snowden said,

“We have been incredibly pleased with the success of the mobile app since launching in Pennsylvania in September. Our customers have thoroughly enjoyed engaging with Dave Portnoy, Dan ‘Big Cat’ Katz, and other Barstool fan favorites, and we expect more of the same in Michigan.”

The Barstool Fund has announced that it will match any deposits made at the Barstool Sportsbook from noon on Friday until 11:59 pm on Sunday night and donate the funds to small businesses in Michigan. The endeavor is designed to assist local small businesses that have been hit hard by the pandemic.

Detroit Casinos Struggled in 2020

FanDuel’s sportsbook and online casino apps will also be available for download on iOS and Android devices starting on Friday. FanDuel opened a retail sportsbook at MotorCity Casino Hotel last year, and MotorCity president Bruce Dall said that the casino is “thrilled to build on this collaboration with a fully integrated, real money online gaming experience for residents and visitors to the state of Michigan.”

Detroit-area casinos reported about $639 million in aggregate revenue for 2020, which was a sharp decrease from nearly $1.5 billion generated in 2019. The pandemic played a huge role in the decreased gambling revenue last year, but the installment of mobile sports betting is expected to help Michigan’s gaming industry bounce back in a big way moving forward.

Online sports betting in Michigan will be taxed at a rate of 8.4 percent. The tax rate for online gambling will range from about 20 percent to 28 percent, per the state’s Gaming Control Board.

Taylor Smith

Taylor Smith has been a staff writer with GamblingSites.org since early 2017. Taylor is primarily a sports writer, though he will occasionally dabble in other things like politics and entertainment betting. His primary specialties are writing about the NBA, Major League Baseball, NFL and domestic and international soccer. Fringe sports like golf and horse racing aren’t exactly his cup of tea, bu ...

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